Sunday, March 31, 2019

Melanie Ebenhoch at Galerie der Stadt Schwaz


Our simulacra now iridescent. Cast in cartoon stuf that feels like the rubber of current reality. The framing devices Ebenoch has us continually peering through, so you feel like you've entered, so you feel complicit, your eye looking.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Mary Mito at Downs & Ross


The psychedelia of noise, legitimized through force, Herculean effort to reconstitute pile, of the rubble we predict will become: What you feel when is all the possibility of construction, and all the effort towards, meaning, desire, as the romans ruined to rubble, these paintings.

see too: Vija Celmins at Matthew MarksLutz Bacher at 356 Mission

Friday, March 29, 2019

Ghislaine Leung at Chisenhale & Essex Street

(Essex, Chisenhale)

(Right before The Stepford Wives he wrote Rosemary's Baby, a guy with obvious anxieties over the maternal.) The Stepford Wives, a novel about "frighteningly submissive housewives in [a] new idyllic Connecticut neighborhood," the housewives feared to, but unknown whether, have been replaced with robots. The novel's continuous adaption into varyingly successful television and film striking some type of cultural consciousness chord. Having been written in an era (1970s) of increasing modern "miracle" conveniences and the then latest "smart objects" is hard not to read as a fear of these conveniences, submissiveness, actually infiltrating us, our subjects, robots, of convenience and object submission until we became, if not kitchen appliances ourselves, at least frighteningly subservient molded to kitchen surrounding us. The fear of our kitchen as a mold. Molded on a production line, molding ourselves to its convenience. Such that options for expression become limited by the cultural detritus available in stores. Which shouldn't be read as a fear of loss of individualism (a reactionary fear spawning Hippies dressing Ayn Rand in flowers calling it a movement awaking twenty years later in corporate board rooms doing to the earth what they did to that field in upstate New York) but some sort of fear of virtuality and the world rendered in some sort of Reichstagian cartoon, an imperial diet of commodity, perfection we all see ourselves attempting to reflect, scary cultural ideas of blonde heads beaming in striking black suits. These lights are untethered. You join in union, with a multitude, a choir, signing "THE BOSS." Whether or not highlighting these cultural walls with a gloss is helpful, it does make for good scary. We fear that one guy who is so painfully nice, not because we fear him snapping, but because we fear his so perfect reflection of cultural ideal turning into himself a commodity, one that we might have to reflect.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Diamond Stingily at Wattis


A shelving not quite inspiring confidence. A bookshelf is a form of social signaling, marking class, worth, status. This one is made of compressed dust to which it shall return.

Google "no participation trophies in life." You'll get hundred of results, get NYTimes debates. Rapid opinions, Millennial castigation. This despite childhood development studies saying you should reward effort, not achievement. "You did so well" is less positive reinforcement than "You worked so hard." Rewarding achievement threatens the hand of failure. Effort can be contributed without risk.

Sports are a form of systematized and controlled adversity. For a certain class of children this will be their only form of adversity.

Trophies, shelved, imply the past that looked through tint rose, nostalgia on achievement.

No one seemed to really mention the stark shadow these cast. 

Things said in recollecting the past, against the trophy of achievement they do not contain, become lamentations for a past that isn't garnered any such social trophies like a real wood bookshelf.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Ann Greene Kelly at Michael Benevento


You can't put a drain in anything without at least someone calling it Goberesque, and while home and hearth's quilted interiors rubbing against industrial production that wheels us might be explicitly Gober, AGK's is a more crustacean form which, as said last time, the gooey soft center threatens to exteriorize, spill its soft innards from something black, diatomaceous crabs, objects tension a possibility of their biomorphing, like loosing ones bowels in the bed, your body "goes lumpy," threatens structure, inside out, cream interiors, liquids draining in the bed.

see too: Group Show at Michael Benevento

Monday, March 25, 2019

Purvis Young at James Fuentes


While the ultra-wealthy trade the scatalogic nappies of adult-child-brutes whose own naive styles self-declare their idiocy as avant and thus valuable as coins amongst collectors, Young's would seem more "authentic," a reclaimed vintage and patinated with all the struggle to be taken seriously most of his career, and all the worrisome that we wait for the outsider to prove value through wear beat into their objects, while sterling dudes are acclaimed in architecture magazines for the sheer size of their ruby studios; the point not to make fun of them but that for one group the valor is in silver for but another it's in hardship now reclaimed by collectors of such.

See too: NADA Miami 2018

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Kim Hiorthøy at STANDARD (OSLO)


As if Jonas Wood made paintings of Matthew Brannon prints the candy lozenge would be complete, surface gelatinizing any object content, the tableaus we all find so collectiblely cute, holding their content with an ironic remove: we love nothing more than paintings of paintings. It is a clean, modernist-approved way, of looking at the filthy goo of representation.

See too: Matthew Brannon at Casey KaplanJonas Wood at David Kordansky

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Ambera Wellmann at Lulu


Morning's animated cartoons looked molded in latex, anthropomorphic rabbits injected molded, a latent erotic awakening later as any number of sexual proclivities, substance has sort of intrinsic qualities that we relate to. “Flesh was the reason oil paint was invented," said painter before violently rearranging his women. "A slick glass perspires over your naked body in coitus," and Wellmann's erotics glazed like wet porcelain, now shattered. Into remains of ambiguity we could call less a gestural innuendo leaving the perverts guessing (a la Cecily Brown pre-2001) but a more literally read erotics against interpretation. We are looking for ways to make the body reappear, preferably not a cartoon but a living thing bloodfilled thing. And blushing reveals our vase's vulnerability, the blood inside, offered close to the skin, close to letting. It was Darwin’s “most human emotion,” Sexual stimulation causes blushing, and thus the sexually engorged ensure audiences the actors are filled with blood, and so die first in horror, blooded before its letting. But the point in both sex and horror is to see what's just below the surface a pool.

see too: Nicola Tyson at Friedrich PetzelNicola Tyson at Nathalie ObadiaThe violence against facesLisa Yuskavage at Contemporary Art Museum St. LouisGenieve Figgis at Almine RechMiriam Cahn at Meyer RieggerRuby Neri at David KordanskyJulien Nguyen at Modern ArtTomoo Gokita at Taka Ishii

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Alex Hubbard at House of Gaga


Jury-rigging some Wonkanian projectors has a certain pleasant inanity lacking in all the resined and painted squares flaunting their inanity as tokens of what is funding these here. The projector proves its function, you see it working, satisfying some libidinal candy impulse, however inane, like watching candy be made, loving the byzantine contraption that creates it, implying some warmth, that the machine cares, however little it does.

See too: Isabelle Cornaro at Museum Leuven, Nora Schultz at dépendance, Oscar Tuazon at Le Consortium & Paradise Garage,
Past: Mario García Torres at Walker Art Center

"... loss of the requisite information contained in didactics jettisoned, the info sent asea that would have allowed any remotely complete picture (since the GT's is often the oral myth of the didactic anyway), itself becomes a GT work for its, again, circumcision of the package, a clipping omission that refuses whole narrative. There's information missing, and you can fill it with whatever,  a hole we call poetic."

Read full: Mario García Torres at Walker Art Center

Monday, March 18, 2019

Paul Maheke at Vleeshal


Towards a language of the promotional still, which, brandishing the act it can only suggest but never actually capture, becomes a sort of gestural pool, an we infer. In this way the promotional image, suggests narrative, a story we can't see, making them function the way altar paintings once had: creating icons for stories, propaganda for their churches.
The promotional image has a leg up on art since it doesn't finalize itself, it withholds its decisive utterance. It gestures a story, but we are not allowed to speak of it, since we can't "know it." Serving cake and keeping it too, spread, replicate without depleting itself.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

“No Thing” at Eva Presenhuber


because though Pendleton's sign shows through, the permutations act to make it safer for consumption, an aesthetic that acts like a packaging, rather than spilling it out on the floor, crawling towards you. Instead petri-dished for white-gloved examination, the pretense that no one has to get dirty.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

“No Thing” at Eva Presenhuber


If laughter was the earthquake alleviating the tension of the joke, then Pope.L's don't really relief its valve. A refusal that turns humor into a weapon where misunderstanding the joke might have risks. "Swiss Are People Lonly." "White Peo abstr ation." Pointed fingers. What are the stakes of misunderstanding? The generalized artworld fear of misinterpretation someone's artwork becomes conflated with the generalized fear of Blackness, of one's foot in one's mouth, of white spaces suddenly filled with an innuendo that doesn't confine itself to safe quotational space of art, the usual polite holding patterns of white walls, and art mumbo treating its signifiers as some archaeologic thing, subject to whatever formalist schooled things that can be thrown at it - the whole Richard Prince affect - but Pope.L's are living breathing wet things, crawling towards a floor near you.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Oliver Osborne at Gió Marconi


Paint like burnished leather. Rubbed, treated. The point is the surface, a shallow pool both lets sight in and reflects us. We can theorize an internality, a subject inside, however privy we are not to it. A surface that warbles in inkblots. A "parsimonious difference." What do you see, what do you project. It's a new type of formalism where content is created then rejected, cancelled by the imbroglio of meaning. A depiction tampered, we stare at. 

See too: Caleb Considine at Massimo de Carlo

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Luigi Ontani at Massimo De Carlo


The "hypertrophic imagination of the artist".
The excessive [...] breeding monsters, unnecessary invention, a bit too. A hangnail bleeding the excess of art, much.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

“A Fatal Attraction” at Barbara Weiss & Rebecca Morris at The Blaffer Art Museum

(“A Fatal Attraction” at Barbara Weiss, Rebecca Morris at The Blaffer Art Museum)

"Shopping seems to merge into everything, everything seems to merge into shopping. Even its critique. Arguably no sphere is effected more forcefully by this paradox than the contemporary art world, where the line between opposition and opportunism has become all but blurred."
"A Fatal Attraction alludes to an exhibition which Thomas Lawson curated in 1982 at the Renaissance Society of the University of Chicago. [...] We are trapped firmly within the terms of a fatal attraction, Lawson wrote in the catalogue of the exhibition, unable to say ‘no’ with any conviction."

Everything adopts the language of the commodity, this is what we find "nice," painting offers itself like a platter of its possibility. Like any good commodity, like any brilliant bright sponge on store shelves, the object provides a possibility. Morris's paintings offer themselves like catalogs for more. And the "no" in Jeffery's, that hollow space of the refusal's whisper, still contains it within a package that frames it. The distance, this evaporation, the whisper, is its commodity, a pleasant silence, selling a rest it spills over.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Valérie Blass at Oakville Galleries & Atsushi Fukui at Tomio Koyama

(Valérie Blass at Oakville GalleriesAtsushi Fukui at Tomio Koyama)

We aren't normally delivered the fantastical in such explicit forms. That tasteful hint of surreality mirroring our own world feeling deformed, malleable to invisible hands. Things feel pretty strange these days, so much so that fantasy surrealism almost feels quaint, safe. A big ornament in the sky feels relatively benign in that scientists - as a means to cool our planet - are researching global scale "stratospheric aerosol injections" of sulphuric acid. Spraying 5 million tons of acid into the sky as serious funded research, the world has become a cartoon where the actors wields huge mallets, and the world bends like goo to their violence.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Brandon Ndife, Diane Severin Nguyen at Bureau


New forms of repulsion aren't necessarily "fun" but find interest in this evolving newness, this "becomingness" that forms the abject. Filth is only gross when we fear its spread, contamination. And we have become lovers of filth. It could feel a signifier of our political moment but it started before that. The early 2010s, 2013, Agematsu, E. Smith, Douard, Lupo, Hooper Schneider, and Thek, Tetsumi resurgence et al. It could instead be that rise of CAD and crystalline documentation - the even-white fluorescence provided the clinic - could hold filth at a distance, anti-sceptic photography for petri-dish transmission. Everything looks good in the white light of pornography, even that filth. Like we finally had the clean rooms to handle it, not just white boxes, but had invented technological gloves to package all of it:

Filth: Martin Soto Climent at Michael Benevento & Yuji Agematsu at The Power StationMay the Bridges I Burn Light the Way” at STANDARD (OSLO)Dylan Spaysky at Clifton BeneventoMax Hooper Schneider at High ArtAjay Kurian at White Flag ProjectsKahlil Robert Irving at Callicoon Fine ArtsAjay Kurian at Rowhouse Project,  Jason Dodge at Franco NoeroAmy Yao at Various Small FiresAnicka Yi at Cleveland Museum of ArtChadwick Rantanen at Essex StreetMichael E. Smith at Sculpture CenterMichael E. Smith at Michael BeneventoMichael E. Smith at ZeroMichael E. Smith at LuluMichael E. Smith at Susanne HilberryAmy Yao at Various Small FiresAnicka Yi at Cleveland Museum of ArtNancy Lupo at Kristina Kite & Yuji Agematsu at Miguel AbreuNancy Lupo at Swiss InstituteNancy Lupo at 1857Yuji Agematsu at Real Fine Arts,  Yuji Agematsu at ArtspeakHenrik Olesen at CabinetJason Dodge at Casey Kaplan“Ungestalt” at Kunsthalle Basel

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Andrew J. Greene at The Modern Institute


You could think of Greene as a decorator in our semiotic apocalypse picking through the ruins of what we would have probably rather forgot. The obsolescent and malformed. It's some malignant Frankenweenie archaeology. The 1984 version. No one would mistake these for pleasant. Not even quite kitsch, but some anti-nostalgial form. The question of what to do with our rubble is a pertinent one. These things, despite their delegation to the back burners of culture, of closets and bins, still linger and Greene scrounges back to re-festive our lives with. We don't necessarily want it.

see too: David Lieske at MUMOK

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Beverly Pepper at Kayne Griffin Corcoran


while instead the plodding lumpen ones express their material well.  The stacks of metal stuff that provide a nuance rather than bending materials to drawings in the air. Drawings should be on paper. At their most "expressive" they seem rococo, mannerist, the expression we all want but don't want too much of. It might be that whole bullshit of "honesty to material" still echoing in our learned heads, but the dumber ones find sensitivity to dumb material. It's Pepper's 80s columns (seen in the last KGC exhibition) where the dumb metals find some sort of totemic mystery in silent forms. Like the act of stacking, higher, finds the primeval issue at the heart of construction, sculpture, like this is what we do, at base, is get up, build, it's mysterious.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Alice Channer at Konrad Fischer


Brandishing the machines, tools used in production, the techno-look of the industrial process, underscore technique thus value. Not just shiny, but bearing its technological effort. Nature does not, a crab's exoskeleton extrudes out of soft delicious goo like magic. Fingernails spew from flesh. God hides tricks, ours brute industrial process. It forces the body to be like Frankenstein's monster a gross conglomerate of flesh, forced to dance.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Raimer Jochims at Jacky Strenz


Jewels or portals, the tension-confusion. A faceted sapphire is both; painting a jewel for your wall. Precious stones do have a patient resistance to our looking, and we try to cut them to out will, but the more you polish gems for eyes the further they seem from us.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Guy Mees at Mu.ZEE


In the scheme of history it's better to have one good idea than many. It seems the most ran one idea into the ground, or at most a few iconic periods. Artists have a use to history, becoming placeholders for ideas in our stories. She was an early identity photographer, he was a minimalist. They were an Italian group of magical sculptors. Artists are their own identity package, a brand. And probably any one of these could have been a career, the younger artists already feasting upon.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

“Portraits” at Foxy Production


Strange no, that we adorn the world with pics of ourselves? Think of the prevalence of us in stock images, in advertising space, on the broad sides of buses, men and women smiling. And all the possible wishes that artists themselves hadn't given up this form so readily and instead deal with it. There is a lot of information embedded in our visages. A real psychotic kaleidoscope, ourselves.

See too: Peter Piller at Capitain Petzel

Saturday, March 2, 2019

“The Classics” at Fons Welters


The lumpy that resembles us. The play dough, artists like the lumpy form since it embodies all the potential of their creative act, the embryonic, the material from. Rodin's lumpy men resisted the representation for leaving the remains of its sculpting. Erwin Wurm inflating his cars to make the sculpture apparent, otherwise they'd just be cars. The lumpy is an excess which proves the artist was there, showcases their hand. Things droop, we bloat.